BY : ‘Mamohaila Rampo
To help avert the unemployment rate downward, a female entrepreneur Khathatso Ester Sekoai is letting affordable space to more than 50 employees in the beauty industry in Lesotho.
Sekoai is a successful Founder and Managing Director of Sefika Hair Salon situated within the Sefika Complex since 2014. Through letting out salon booths, Sekaoai‘s main intention is to empower women into running their own businesses.
In an interview with Informative Newspaper, she revealed that for just M100.00 daily fee she lets out spaces in her salon to hairstylists in order to make rental more affordable. Normally, these booths have a styling chair, a counter, an area for supplies and a mirror.
According to the economics trade, Lesotho‘s unemployment rate has remained unchanged at 24.60 percent for both 2020 and 2021 respectively. Sekoai is one of the few women that are trying to alleviate the unemployment rate in the country.
By holding a leadership role that enables her to take in such a large number of people, Sekoai is also contributing towards building a necessary foundation for a peaceful, prosperous and sustainable Lesotho as far as gender equality as well as women empowerment are concerned.
Sekoai said the idea of coming up with a beauty salon parlor was enthused by her desire to witness talented Basotho women become independent as well as self-employed.
She said the fact that talented women in the art of hair braiding are more likely to be caregivers in their immediate and extended families, which includes children and elderly people. Sekoai perceives this to be a waste of talent especially for the hair industry. She envisions such women to become their own bosses so that they can be able to provide the livelihood they desire for themselves as well as for their families.
Another reason was that, back in 2014, the area her business is situated, there were no salons and thus she saw a good business opportunity which she grabbed it with both hands.
Through the Sefika Hair Salon, Sekoai said she tries to accommodate everyone including people with disabilities.
She had a rough start narrating her life before she became a business owner. Sekoai said she worked at a car dealership company and when her job ended, she was left stranded and unable to make ends meet. However, as time went by, she found an employment opportunity that enabled her to start a business.
Just like in any other business, Sefika Hair Salon encounters setbacks in its venture cycle lifetime journey. Sekoai said some employees fail to pay rent on time. Among these employees, Sekoai said there are those who owe over a year of rent money. However, because of her motherly instinct and care, she cannot bring herself to a point of dismissing them from the premises.
She said through the salon she strives to elevate the economic status of women and the socioeconomic status of many families.